NOTE: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.
The past few years have seen a fun trend in scifi and paranormal romance – the holiday themed story. I had quite a number of new books to choose from for this column, if you want to mix your holiday with romance and aliens or shifters.
The results are always terrific when a group of the top SFR authors comes together around a theme and the “Holidate with an Alien” collection sure supplies the seasonal and the romantic thrills. In Tinzel by Ella Maven a human and an alien on a prison planet make an alliance during a snowstorm to escape and find a Happy Ever After (HEA). In Ozias by Alana Khan a human woman is asked to be a matchmaker for an alien demon but the minute they reach his home planet, he decides he only wants her. (What romance reader didn’t see that coming?) It’s a classic friends to lovers tale to read by the cozy fire on any planet. Skruj by Honey Phillips artfully takes the old Charles Dickens tale and updates it, with the human woman working for a pinchpenny alien boss to support herself and her fragile little brother. The boss needs a companion for three events and the only person willing to go with him is his employee. Rixen by Ella Blake revolves around the preparations for a big holiday festival on an alien planet and the complications between a human woman who is only visiting the world and an alien who wants permanency in his HEA. Tana Stone takes the fake relationship trope to the stars in Yool with a human female fighter pilot who gets a smuggler to act as her date for a big event and then of course complications ensue. Sleye by Ava Ross revolves around a very forbidden relationship but the human woman knows what she wants and her hunky alien crush is happy to go along. Readers love the cover of Khane by Rena Marks because of the red stripes and the plot inside is red hot as well. The socially awkward daughter of the creator of a dating app of the future needs help from her royal alien neighbor when Daddy gives her a deadline to find a boyfriend. She needs someone by the time the big holiday party her father is throwing to celebrate the launch of the new version of the app and her neighbor is only too happy to help. And to keep all other suitable males away.
Author Julie K. Cohen put a new twist on holiday SFR romance that I personally had never seen before – the Hannukah themed SFR story. Whisked away By the Alien features an alien hero who has been sent to New York to learn about humans as a cultural exchange and he’s arrived in the Birnbaum kitchen in time to observe Hannukah. When the daughter of the family arrives, she notices he doesn’t believe in clothing (but will wear an apron) and doesn’t know how to cook. The miscommunication trope gets a lot of play here but overall readers seemed to enjoy the growing feelings between the couple and the satisfactory HEA ending.
Cyborgs get in on the holiday action as well, with Cyborgs Save Christmas: A Gay Holiday Romance by Toshi Drake, wherein a stranded alien needs the help of a kindly human to resolve his problem. There’s found family and miscommunications and of course a lot of holiday involved. In Vinder’s Christmas (A Cyborg for Christmas Book Three) by Christine Myers and Clarissa Lake, the authors mix vibes of the Old West with scifi romance, a cyborg hero, the local girl who needs help as the female main character and of course the holidays.
Nine authors came together to write the Mated at the North Pole series of M/M paranormal romances, featuring nine men who shift into reindeer to pull Santa’s sleigh. The team has been informed they need to take a mandatory vacation in order to get ready for the big night ahead and each shifter finds his own holiday adventure among the humans. As the blurb for Cupid by Aria Grace says in part: “Cupid features an alpha reindeer with a knack for matchmaking, a human omega who has no idea shifters exist, a beachfront cottage, Christmas magic, and the best kind of present ever—true love, fated mates, an adorable baby, and a guaranteed happily ever after.” The other eight, including Rudolph will have similar romantic encounters in these LGBTQ holiday tales.
Dragon Shifter Christmas by Zoe Chant offers three holiday romances. In the first story the Female Main Character hates Christmas and the dragon shifter is on a tight deadline to change her mind or he loses his inner dragon forever. No pressure at the holidays! The second tale uses the enemies to lovers trope to good effect, as does the third entry in the book, although in the latter the idea of a dragon shifter and a cat shifter trying to find their HEA is especially appealing.
If time travel plus Christmas sounds good to you, there’s Christmas Village: Julia by Frankie Robinson which features a woman renovating a 200 year old Scottish mansion who encounters the ghost dwelling there. She gets drawn into his time, where the village is going all out preparing for the holidays and of course romance blossoms. Or you can visit The Enchanted Highlands book three, A Kilt for Christmas by Tricia O’Malley in which, to quote the blurb: “… a handsome American takes on a lonely Scotswoman in this stand-alone, small-town, Scottish romance. Wicked banter, a highland ghost coo (cow), and dogs dressed in kilts make this magical Christmas story the perfect happily-ever-after.”
Of course there are many other SFR/PNR holiday romances available, with more being released weekly but hopefully this sampling will start your season in a holy, jolly way! Happy reading!